After researching Apache Tears and writing about them, my wife, Debbie, and I decide to go find some of our own. As Apache Leap is near the town of Superior, Arizona we thought, heck, there just has to be some Apache Tears somewhere around Superior. And we were right. Superior has a good-sized perlite mining and refining operation.

This is our trip to get our own Apache Tears.

This is also a follow up blog post to the “Apache Leap” YouTube episode and “Apache Leap and Tears” blog post. See: for the episode and for the blog post on what is an Apache Tear and where they occur.

Wide area shot of where our Apache Tears Outing occurred. The geo-locations (GPS coordinates) are at the end of this blog post.

Closer view of the driving portion of our outing about 1.5 miles. Be aware, this is all dirt road. The road is likely good for most any vehicle up to the Steep Wash Crossing. The wash crossing is steep, uneven, and rough. It definitely requires a high-clearance vehicle. You might get away with a 2-wheel drive truck or SUV, but you will need to make a run at it and still might not get up the other side. Much easier with a 4-wheel drive.

View of the route near the Creek Crossing.

This is the photo at the “View of Queen Creek” marker above.

This is the wash you have to cross before getting to the creek crossing. It is much steeper, rougher and uneven than it looks here. I wish I had taken a photo. Really need a high clearance 4-wheel drive to cross this wash.

This is the steep road down to and then across the creek. Be sure to walk down to the creek and carefully check for safe crossing. If it has rained in the past few days, the creek may be impassible – Do Not Get Your SUV Or Truck Washed Down River. It is expensive and Arizona has a “Stupid Motorist” law. Just come back in a week or two. The Apache Tears will still be there.

Looking from the creek up to my SUV.

View of the road toward the parking spot after crossing the creek.

This is where you park.

This is where your hike begins. Don’t try and drive it! 😊

It is about a 1/2-mile hike with only a little bit of an incline / decline.

View at the end of your hike. You have to scramble down this embankment. All the white areas are perlite and some Apache Tears can be found in most areas of perlite.

Here are some into-the-hillside-mines where perlite was mined. Note it is fenced off for safety reasons. Proceeding beyond the fence is your choice. A lot of people have crossed the fence to look for Apache Tears. Even from outside the fence, you can see where people have chipped away at the walls for Apache Tears. (The horses are not ours nor part of our outing. Good looking horses, though.)

Again, the white mineral areas are perlite and perlite will likely contain some Apache Tears. Perlite is found all over this area. So, you do not “need” to cross the fence. If you are chipping away at a vertical wall, you may chip out an Apache Tear that will fall to the ground. Once on the ground, it may be hard to find again. Likewise, others have lost many Apache Tears that they have chipped out. You might have a good time just sorting through the rubble to pick up Tears that others have lost. We got quite a few that way. While there is an abundance of Apache Tears, you still have to put in some effort and time to find them.

You should bring a good pair of leather work gloves, a rock hammer, a small shovel, eye protection and bag to collect your treasure. You might want to bring some knee pads (I wish I had brought some), as kneeling on those rocks and debris can do a number on your body.

Also, just wandering around the old roads to the east, you can find a few Apache Tears on the surface.

Once you get used to seeing Apache Tears, you will be amazed at all the ones you see on your hike back to your car. Isn’t it interesting that they weren’t there on your hike in. 😊

Weaver’s Needle from the caves.

Picketpost Mountain from the caves.

Apache Leap mountain range. That is a lot of horizontal distance to try and determine where the fight actually occurred. View on the drive out.

Here is part of the Apache Tears that we gathered. None have been tumbled or polished yet.

These Apache Tears are still embedded in the perlite.

Hoped you enjoyed joining Debbie and I on this outing.

Dave Guggisberg

Turn-off of Hwy 60


33.2845113°, -111.1225722°

Degrees Minutes

33°17.07068′, -111°07.35433′

Degrees Minutes Seconds 

33°17’04.2407″, -111°07’21.2599″

View of Queen Creek


33.2766489°, -111.1389783°

Degrees Minutes

33°16.59893′, -111°08.33870′

Degrees Minutes Seconds

33°16’35.9360″, -111°08’20.3220″

Steep Wash Crossing


33.2773051°, -111.1341620°

Degrees Minutes

33°16.63831′, -111°08.04972′

Degrees Minutes Seconds 

33°16’38.2984″, -111°08’02.9832″

Creek Crossing


33.2744503°, -111.1352702°

Degrees Minutes

33°16.46702′, -111°08.11621′

Degrees Minutes Seconds 

33°16’28.0211″, -111°08’06.9727″

Parking / Hike Begins


33.2716119°, -111.1383855°

Degrees Minutes

33°16.29671′, -111°08.30313′

Degrees Minutes Seconds 

33°16’17.8028″, -111°08’18.1878″

Apache Tears Around This Area


33.2689808°, -111.1352404°

Degrees Minutes

33°16.13885′, -111°08.11442′

Degrees Minutes Seconds 

33°16’08.3309″, -111°08’06.8654″

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